Sunday 13 June

With Delta Variant Covid cases rising rapidly in the country, it comes as no surprise to learn that the much-trumpeted ‘Freedom Day’ (release from all Covid-related restrictions) scheduled for 21 June is likely to be delayed by at least four weeks. The Delta Variant is said to be 64% more infectious than the Kent strain,Continue reading “Sunday 13 June”

Sunday 6 June

Last weekend ministers and other Johnson supporters queued up to congratulate the PM well on his ‘secret’ wedding to Carrie Symonds, a pretty clear and intended distraction from bad news since this event had originally been planned for 2022. Many were puzzled as to how Father Daniel Humphreys had deemed it acceptable to preside overContinue reading “Sunday 6 June”

Sunday 30 May

As ever, several key issues have been jostling with each other for media coverage, all of them with very unsettling potential, including the quality of BBC journalism and position of the BBC in the wake of the Martin Bashir scandal, continuing confusion over the Amber List of countries, the rapid rise of the Indian VariantContinue reading “Sunday 30 May”

Saturday 3 April

A happy Easter to everyone! Whether or not you’re religious, this time of year is associated with a spirit of renewal, even more so this time as Monday signalled the easing of restrictions in England. Although ministers have long erroneously maintained that ‘most people are obeying the rules’ when sights on local high streets tellContinue reading “Saturday 3 April”

Sunday 28 March

As we pass the anniversary of the first lockdown, the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and the social sciences, issued a major report, warning of a post-pandemic decade of ‘social and cultural upheaval’ featuring significant inequality and deprivation. Set up last year, initiated by the Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance,Continue reading “Sunday 28 March”

Saturday 20 March

We’re now fast approaching the anniversary of the start of the first lockdown and what a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. Now that about 130,000 lives have been lost, it will be interesting to see how the public mourning day  (National Day of Reflection) goes on Tuesday, to be markedContinue reading “Saturday 20 March”

Saturday 6 March

So much can happen in a week and when we come to look back over the trajectory of the pandemic, it could well seem as if a month’s worth has been packed into every single week. It’s interesting, then, that only on Monday there was extreme concern that our leaky border controls had enabled 6Continue reading “Saturday 6 March”

Sunday 28 February

This last week will be memorable at least for the formal announcement of the long awaited roadmap out of lockdown, widely leaked beforehand. It attracted criticism from some health experts and teachers for focusing on dates rather than data despite declarations to the contrary, and for allowing all schools to reopen at once on 8Continue reading “Sunday 28 February”

Sunday 21 February

As numbers of Covid deaths and new cases continue to fall but remain high, this last week finally saw the introduction of hotel quarantining for UK passengers returning from the 33 ‘red list’ countries (in Scotland it’s sensibly all countries since dangerous variants have been found in many besides the 33). Ministers had quite aContinue reading “Sunday 21 February”

Saturday 13 February

As the latest estimate of excess deaths since the start of the pandemic passes 120,000, four main issues have continued to dominate the news this week, none of them inspiring confidence in how they’re being managed. At the start of the week a number of newspapers and websites headlined fury with Michael Gove, amid plungingContinue reading “Saturday 13 February”